Authorities Warn of Unconscious Habit of ‘Rubber Necking’
PHARR - Residents and officials in the Rio Grande Valley are speaking out against a poor driving habit.
Ulises Garza, a Valley Lyft driver, said "rubber necking" or slowing down to observe an accident, is endangering lives in the Valley.
"They kind of slow down to see the accidents on the other side," he said. "And they don't take into account they can also cause an accident."
A secondary accident occurred as a result of rubber necking following the fatal accident at the Pharr Interchange last week.
The Texas Department of Transportation said the minor collision happened on the eastbound lanes of I-69C. They said it was a result of drivers slowing down to observe the scene.
"That wasn't even the lanes where the accident occurred. It was on the opposite side," said TxDOT spokesperson Octavio Saenz.
Saenz told CHANNEL 5 NEWS even if your intentions are pure, you can still put lives at risk on the road by slowing down to watch what's happening.
"You cannot be driving a 3,000 pound vehicle and think it's safe to slow down in the middle of the road, and take your eyes off the road," said Saenz. "That is not safe! That causes accidents!"
Pharr Police Department Sgt. Michael Mendoza said some motorists bring their social media followers into live developments.
"They use their cell phones to record this incident and further it along on social media," said Mendoza.
Although there are no legal ramifications for rubber necking, officials said progressing through accidents scenes as safely as possible should always be a priority.